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Last year, I asked the Lord to give me a word for the year.   I clearly heard the word COURAGE from Him.  And oh, how right He was.  That word was like water to my soul so many times last year when I was tempted to.freak.the.heck.out.

Many things happened last year that were totally out of my comfort zone!!!  I was on live television 3 times painting my ‘lil heart out.  My husband and I felt led to make the very scary switch from adopting a newborn….to adopting a child(ren) out of the foster care system.   I was also asked to speak at a local high school classroom about our adoption process. I traveled away from my husband and kids twice last year….once to The Orphan Summit in Orange County and a second time to the Haven Conference in Atlanta.  All new stuff for me.  All scary.  All took courage.

So, I was excited to ask the Lord last week if He had a word for me for this year. I was hoping for something with a little spice behind it again.  Another strong word like “courage”….perhaps it would be “shine” or “inspire” or “overcome”….all words with a little meat on their bones.

But, the first thing I heard was REST.

My heart sunk just a bit.

REST????  At first I thought is sounded like such a wimpy word.  It sounded lazy.  And I am such a doer.  I paint my nails while I watch a movie.  I answer emails while in the bank drive thru lane.  I talk-to-text so I can text faster.  I get restless when I have to “do nothing”.  I am a multitasker….a goal setter…..not a very good rester.

And yet I know this word is for me…..spiritually, emotionally and physically.

The scripture that came to mind immediately was Matt. 11:28 which states “Come to me all who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest”.  I’ve read that scripture a thousand times, but never really gave it much thought until now.

I think it is interesting that my (our) instruction from the Lord in this scripture is to “COME TO ME”… His command is not to rest.  It’s almost an if/then instruction that basically says….. IF you come to me, then I (the Lord) will give you rest.  The REST is something He gives. I won’t have to try to do it (thank goodness!!!). He will GIVE me the rest when I uphold my end of the deal by coming to Him.

Of course I instantly thought of  our adoption process . It has me weary friends. We are at 2 years and 3 months….with no child in site.   But the Lord has told me to “rest….you have done what I have asked”.    He has this.  He will work it out.  I can rest in knowing the details to figure out are His.

I wanted to look up more scriptures on the word rest and had no idea there were so many!! My concordance lists 275 scriptures on REST. Wow….God obviously thinks it’s important.

When I googled “rest” I found this biblical description that I love: “Rest was not meaning be idle in the promised land, but that they would live in peace from that which troubled them, IF they obeyed Him.

Ohhhhhh how I love that!!!!   Like anyone else, I have things that trouble me. But I love the Lord’s promise that we can live in peace!!

The other side of my rest coin is the physical aspect.

Webster’s Dictionary defines rest as:  1) stopping of work or activity 2) sleep 3) absence of movement…..

I know this pertains to me in the area of my business because as a business owner, it is

I am trying very hard already this year to turn down my computer before dinner…..and not check any more emails for the day. I must do a better job of setting better work boundaries….giving myself the physical reprieve from work. My Sundays are often spent preparing for Mondays….so usually I only get Saturdays COMPLETELY off every week. I am really going to try to do better at keeping my weekends more work free in order to keep some level of sanity for my family and I.

So, because I love a challenge, because I love being stretched, because I love seeing what I am made of…. my personality is more drawn to the word COURAGE…..

But I know REST….is probably, more than likely, exactly what I need.

The visual that I keep getting is….. God wants me to sit down on the inside.

ugggggggggggggggggggggg.  This may be tough!

So tell me…..  do you have a word for 2013??  I would love to hear it!


  • Maryann @ Domestically-Speaking says:

    Love it! Praying you have a restful year!

  • That’s a great word. I adore how your courage was built over the last year, but I do think it’s so important to be able to just “be”. Rest in him, for there, you will find real peace.

    I don’t have a word for the year myself, but I’m feeling moved to really rest myself. Our lives are can get so busy and most of it isn’t necessary.

  • I can’t add to your post…You seem to have a firm grasp on what it is that the LORD wants you to do. THAT is a blessing. Not knowing and wracking our brains to figure it out is so futile. We cannot in our finite minds understand His infinite wisdom. He knows what we need. Before there is even a WORD to give us.

    My word is SIMPLE. I was going to go with simplify–but it’s too big and it’s an action verb. I didn’t want an action verb. So…I simplified it and just went with SIMPLE.
    So far, it’s like you say– I come to Him, ask him …is this simple? How simple can I make this? Or it’s just cut and dried SIMPLE…and I just do it…whatever IT is.

    Many blessings Jennifer!

  • What a great post!
    I LOVE that you shared the “Come to Me”… & I will be convicted to do just that, this year…
    Thanks for sharing this post.
    You have no idea what this just did to my heart.. : )

  • The Lord actually gave me two words, very similar…calm and still!!! Psalm 107:29 – He calmed the storm to a whisper and stilled the waves!!

  • Devotion…my word for 2013. I have been thinking that I need a word for my business(s) but am just now thinking that this may be God’s word for all of my life!

    I look forward to seeing how God works that word into ALL my life this year!! And, I look forward to hearing how God uses Rest in ALL of your life!

  • Lisa Zuhlke says:

    Hi…I to adopted 2 children…brought them home 5.5 years ago on 07-07-07….a boy and girl from haiti..they are now 12-14…junior high…where are you adopting from…our adoption took 2.5 years for them to come home…enjoy the time before it takes place…rest now…it will be an adventure later..believe me I know..

  • Cindy * Daisies and Crazies says:

    Jennifer, I love the insight you gave here for Matthew 11:28 — that the command is the “Come to me” and then what you RECEIVE is the “rest.” That’s why I think you can do this — because God will help you do it! 🙂

    I finally blogged my word of the year, and you are mentioned in my post. xo

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